Child killer dies in prison 

An evil child killer and sex predator who murdered a 12-year-old Gainsborough boy has died in prison from a Covid-19 infection while serving two life sentences for his horrific crimes.

Douglas Blastland was born in Grimsby and lived for a time on the Nunsthorpe Estate as a child before working as a butcher in the town

In 1977 he was jailed after four separate sexual attacks on young boys aged between 11 and 13, two in People’s Park, Grimsby.

Appearing before Leicester Crown Court he was sentenced to five years behind bars and by 1982 he was free to strike again with tragic consequences.

While serving his sentence, Blastland was diagnosed with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and depression.

A newly published report from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has revealed that despite being considered high risk during the Covid-19 pandemic he chose not to shield.

Last year there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in Blastland’s wing and he tested positive. Blastland was found to be having difficulty moving and breathing an ambulance was called.

A nurse found that Blastland was short of breath, confused, disorientated and his blood oxygen levels were very low at 61 per cent

At hospital he was admitted to intensive care where he was placed on a ventilator and admitted into a medically induced coma.

Hospital staff began end of life care and withdrew medication and ventilation, his death was confirmed at 12.09pm.

No post-mortem examination was held as the coroner accepted a hospital doctor’s certification that the cause of Mr Blastland’s death was multiple organ failure as a result of Covid-19 pneumonitis.

He also had diabetes and high blood pressure which did not cause, but contributed to his death.

Karl Fletcher was just 12-years-old when he was sexually assaulted by Bastland who then strangled him with a football scarf and dumped his body face down in a ditch.

Early pictures of Blastland show a young boy in 1960 among three other siblings in Shelley Avenue on the Nunsthorpe Estate.

A teenage Blastland would then make an appearance on the front of the Grimsby Telegraph in March 1977, accused of four sexual offences against young boys.

The 19-year-old was working as a butcher in the town at the time, two of the offences were reported to have taken place in People’s Park and all related to “the seizing of boys in open spaces”.

The two boys attacked in the park were rushed to hospital after being molested by Blastland. Blastland was given a five year sentence during proceedings in Leicester where he was convicted of two acts of gross indecency and two of attempted gross indecency. The boys were aged between 11 and 13-years-old.

Blastland was free by July 1980 and just two years later he would again attack a young boy, this time in Gainsborough.

Karl Fletcher was just 12-years-old and had left his home in Gainsborough at around 6pm on December 6, 1982.

He had stormed out of the family home after an argument with his mother and that was the last time they would see the Middlefield School pupil alive.

Blastland was by this time 25 and was working as a baker in the town and lived on Thurlby Road.

During court proceedings, Blastland admitted meeting Karl not far from where he would later be found dead and alleged to have paid him for sexual acts.

However, he denied killing the boy who was tragically found face down the next morning on wasteland off Thorndike Way.

A post-mortem of Karl’s body would find that the young boy had been brutally sexually assaulted before he was strangled to death with his own Nottingham Forest football scarf.

Blastland was sentenced to two life sentences for murder and sexual assault with a minimum of 22 years which was later increased to 25.

The pain for Karl Fletcher’s family would not end there as Blastland would again enter their lives during multiple bids for freedom, first appealing against his conviction then repearedly applying for parole.